Ben Turner, Western Painter

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Artist signature of Ben Turner, Western Painter

Twentieth-century New Mexico artists were enthralled with the landscape of the mountain areas, the light intensity of the higher altitudes, and the majesty of the views. Artists from Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos captured wonderful views of the area in various seasons. Ben Turner was included in this group and his specialty was the depiction of cottonwoods, aspens, and adobe scenes. American artist Ben Turner was a direct descendent of Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), the famous English marine painter.

Ben Turner (1912-1966) was born in Gallup, New Mexico and developed his interest in painting in high school. After graduation he worked as a cartoonist creating Jerry'n Jake, a daily comic strip which was distributed to over 48 newspapers in the Southwest. In addition to his studies at the University of New Mexico and the Chicago Art Institute, Turner continued his art studies under the instruction of Blumenschein, Oscar Berninghaus, Couse, Higgins and Sharp.

While serving as the staff artist for the Air Corps in World War II, he established the 15th Air Force Staff Artists. In addition to portraits and posters, Turner recorded the many impressions he observed during the war. The battle scenes he painted in Bari, Italy and the Ploesti Fields of Romania have been featured in Look and Life magazines.

Turner's works have been exhibited at the University of New Mexico Fine Arts Galleries in Albuquerque. His paintings are included in the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the Fine Arts Museum in Santa Fe, and the New Mexico State Fair in Albuquerque. He also established studios in Redstone, Colorado, in Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico, and Mazatlan, Mexico.

TAGS: Western ArtOscar BerninghausCouseSharp